Severe Weather 1-2-3

Written by Lisa Murray, Communication Meteorologist.

Sitting out in the middle of the ocean, New Zealand is vulnerable to weather extremes from all directions, from the remains of tropical systems barreling in from the north, to cold winter southerlies bringing a blanket of snow.

What is a fresh wind? An explanation of wind speeds and the Beaufort Scale

written by MetService Meteorologist Claire Flynn

Sometimes in MetService forecasts, you will see a forecast for “fresh northerlies”. But what exactly does the word ‘fresh’ mean? For many people, the word ‘fresh’ carries connotations of cool or clean air (eg the phrase ‘fresh air’). However, the word ‘fresh’ also has a more technical definition, that comes from the Beaufort Scale, which I will describe in this blog.


Mean Wind Speeds vs. Gust Speeds

A classic cold front on Sunday 24 April 2016

By meteorologist Emma Blades

As a cold front swept up the North Island on Sunday 24 April 2016 it was like a blanket had lifted leaving blue skies behind. In the classic cold-front scenario, showers usually follow the main rain band. But because the flow was west to southwest behind the front, the South Island was sheltering the North Island from the showers, resulting in clear skies behing the front in this case.

TC Amos forecast to hit Samoa south coast on Sunday

By Meteorologist Emma Blades    All times are in NZST

Current situation

Infrared satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Amos at midday 23 April 2016

TC Amos midday 23 April 2016

TC Amos was located about 95km north-northeast of Wallis Island, or 450km northwest of Apia, Samoa, at 6am 23 April 2016. At that time the central pressure was 965hPa and the sustained winds close to the centre were 148km/h; a category three tropical cyclone.

Women in Meteorology

Celebrating the increased participation of women in meteorology

By Lisa Murray Communication Meteorologist

International Women’s Day is held every year in March and to mark this occasion we want to give a big shout out to all the great women working here at MetService. Since 2001 we have trained 34 women and 30 men to be World Meteorology Organisation (WMO) qualified meteorologists. Twenty years ago the statistics were very different.

Cyclone Bola - March 1988

From “The New Zealand Weather Book” by MetService Expert Meteorologist Erick Brenstrum

Blog published by Lisa Murray Communications Meteorologist

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Bola, before moving south towards New Zealand and evolving into a mid-latitude Low. Image from NOAA-9

Tropical Cyclone Winston evolves into mid-latitude low.

25 Feb 2016 update

By MetService Communications Meteorologist Lisa Murray

Please note: all times listed in the text below are New Zealand local time

Visible satellite image of former Tropical Cyclone Winston at 12.30pm today (Thursday 25thFebruary).